A Cup of (Spiritual) Coffee

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how we, as members of the general Christian population, are sleeping spiritually. Did you recognize any of your own habits in our list? I feel humbled and a little discouraged by this exercise, as I’ve been asleep for too long. But I fully believe that identifying the problem must precede a solution, because everything exposed by the light becomes visible. So I pray for The Light to expose those sleeping corners of our spirits today.

And once we know what we’re doing wrong, let’s seriously consider what we should be doing instead. How can we wake up? In the physical realm, I prefer three things to rouse me from sleep: a loud alarm clock, a strong cup of coffee, and natural light. So my morning routine goes something like this: hit the snooze button once, finally get out of bed, start the coffeemaker, have my quiet time with God over coffee, then open the blinds to let in the morning sun. After this sequence I usually feel alert and ready for whatever the day (or my children) may bring.

So what can we do to wake up spiritually? I’ve made a short list below — feel free to add on through comments.

1. Ask God to open our spiritual eyes. There’s a whole ‘nother world out there, and I think if we could see it from time to time we would never want to sleep again. But that kind of sight is His alone to give.
2. Study the Holy Spirit. I read through some of the New Testament the other day, choosing to focus on the Holy Spirit, rather than skimming over those parts like usual. All I can say is…. Wow. Go read it.
3. Question your motives. Why do you go to church? Why do you want a new TV? Why do you avoid the homeless on the corner by your office? Do you really believe in all this crazy supernatural stuff? Why don’t you live like you believe? These last two questions haunted me for the past year, and once I fully looked them in the face, I could sense my faith waking up.

4. Ask God to fine tune our ears so that we can hear from Him.
5. Ask God to help us obey His still small voice and those nudges that He so often uses.
6. Do what God says to do. From James 1:22 – Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Any others?

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 1 Corinthians 2:12-13

19 thoughts on “A Cup of (Spiritual) Coffee

  1. Good really good thoughts to ponder and pray about.
    Ask God to fine tune our ears so that we can hear from Him.
    Ask God to help us obey His still small voice and those nudges that He so often uses.
    Oh how I love the Holy Spirit for it is He that keeps us going and in tune with God,He is precious to me and I thank God for helping me to walk more in line with His Spirit as I continue to grow closer to my Father.
    Love in Christ Pat
    Numbers 6:24~26


  2. Hello. Just came across your blog in a round-about fashion. This is a good list of ways to address the problem of slumbering. May we continually seek the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal areas where we need to grow.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.



  3. Pat, thank you for adding on! I share your enthusiasm and love for the Holy Spirit, and am constantly amazed at His works.

    timbob, thanks for your comment! I also appreciate your blog posts. You have some great insights to share.


  4. Anna,

    Okay, so why did you ask the Lord to open your spiritual eyes? A silly question, maybe? But at the same time, the “why” may determine where you are heading.

    And oh yes, I was a biology major in college. Yuck! My grades were far below yours, and med school did not happen for me.


  5. I guess I asked for spiritual eyes because I wanted more of the type of Christianity found in the Bible. Take spiritual gifts, for example (from 1 Corinthians 12). These are often filtered through the lens of vocation and career — what we’re talented at and called to do in the world. So I’m a stay-at-home mom and a writer, does that mean these spiritual gifts are limited to these roles? This interpretation became increasingly incorrect to me as I continued to read the passage. These gifts seemed to belong in the spiritual realm, independent of our vocation and season of life. And I wanted to know more about this realm, and what it means to say we should worship in Spirit and in truth.

    I realized med school wasn’t going to happen for me when I couldn’t get my head around Organic Chemistry and didn’t care. What did you do initially with your biology major?


  6. Anna,

    I agree with you on the gifts. In fact, if you look at Ephesians 4:11-16, you would find your calling, listed in one of the five-fold ministries.

    From my earliest age, I was going to be a doctor. The only obstacles in my way were college parties, beer and never opening a book. Somehow, I received a degree, barely. And my first job after college was selling pharmaceuticals for E. R. Squibb in Detroit, Michigan.


  7. Anna,

    I forgot to add this:

    Have you considered writing novels? Why? This is one of the easiest ways to write about spiritual happenings, like your daughter’s “unbelief” story.


  8. Larry, thank you so much for mentioning Ephesians 4:11-16 — it is just what I needed to read tonight for different reasons. I won’t be posting or commenting again until next week, because I am the lead coordinator for the women’s retreat at our church that will be taking place this weekend. This is a new and uncomfortable role for me, but one to which I know the Lord has led me. We’ve had a bit of a planning crisis today, with only a few days left to go. You could call it a full-on spiritual attack. Living in the Spirit while attending to details on earth is the challence I face right now. And I needed to be recentered in the Word, and these verses are exactly what I need. Thank you.


  9. Anna,

    My guess is that your struggles over the ladies retreat has more to do with the Lord raising you up to a new spiritual level than it does with Satan picking on you. When the Lord raises a person to a new level, the old ways of doing spiritual things do not work as well. We are forced to learn some new stuff.

    New spiritual levels always bring on bigger battles fighting bigger demons.

    You are a warrior, and how does the Lord train His warriors? He throws them into battle after battle after battle. You can expect more battles.


  10. Larry – I haven’t really thought of writing novels. I love to read them, but don’t really have the patience to write them. But it’s something to think about, I guess, as God brings me more experiences. Have you read “The Same Kind of Different as Me” ? It’s a true story but reads like fiction. Great book.


  11. “You can expect more battles”

    Not sure if I like this statement, even though I wholeheartedly agree. 🙂
    Sometimes when I’m feeling really strong spiritually, I say “bring it on!” And then He does, of course– often revealing my own pride. And with every battle I inevitably discover more of my own weaknesses, and truly every victory belongs to the Lord. There’s nothing more cool than seeing that victory and knowing it’s the work of God and not myself.


  12. “Sometimes when I’m feeling really strong spiritually, I say “bring it on!”

    Just so you know, warriors like battles. It’s not necessarily pride that causes us to say, “Bring it on!” But rather it is our spiritual DNA or make-up which wants to be engaged in battles for the Lord.

    No doubt, once we are engaged in the battle, our weaknesses are exposed and we have to adjust, which usually means some form of repentance on our part.

    Just so you know, the reason I mentioned using fiction rather than non-fiction for your writings is that I see you are going to have many, many spiritual experiences. My experience has been that people can not always relate to our spiritual experiences, especially those who knew us before we had them.

    But they can always relate to fictional stories, as in Frank Peretti’s “Piercing the Darkness” and “This Present Darkness.”

    If Peretti would have written a book telling these stories in a non-fiction format, he would have ended up with a small Pentecostal/Charismatic audience rather than crossing over and touching millions of evangelicals of all flavors.

    I’ve read your stuff…you can write. You have the ability to touch thousands and thousands of people.


  13. Larry, your kind words have done much to lift me out of the writing-related discouragement I have felt recently.

    Peretti’s books are among my favorites, and he has truly crossed denominational lines to bring more awareness to spiritual warfare. I will likely mull over the fiction idea for some time. You make a good point about it being a better vehicle than nonfiction for reaching others.

    Just out of curiosity, is this what you did with “Jonah” ?


  14. Anna,

    Good question about “Jonah”.

    The answer is yes; and because it is a prophetic novel, no publisher is willing to touch it. So, I’m now laying it out in CorelDraw and readying it for self-publishing.

    Up until five years ago, I only read Christian books and my Bible since my salvation. But then, I felt led (sounds way too spiritual – sorry!) to read mystery novels. I read Michael Connelly, Peter Robinson, James Lee Burke, Elmore Leonard, etc. 300 – 400 mystery novels in all.

    From reading mystery novels, I picked up an understanding of how to write fast-reading stories. I felt this was the way to write prophetic stories and not lose or overwhelm the reader with an elite attitude that seems to be prevalent among us prophetic types.

    As I tell my wife (who else?), I’m not a great writer, not a great teacher, not a great preacher, not too great at much of anything, except one important thing: I’m available for God to use. And that seems to be enough for Him to use me.


  15. Anna,

    Thanks again.

    As soon as it all comes together, I will give you the whole scoop on your words to me. You need to know how important obeying the Lord is to other people.


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